County planning board OK’s residential subdivision

The county planning board voted on Tuesday to recommend approval of a 12 residential lot subdivision off Flood Road.

The proposed subdivision, River Bend Estates, would include a 1.62 acre parkland lot and would total 25.35 acres.

The proposed subdivision will next go before the County Commission for approval.

It’s part of a larger 170.07 acre tract and the developer, Higgins Enterprises LTD, may or may not develop the remaining 140 acres, depending on the housing market. During the planning board meeting, the developer team said that land has historically had hay on it and will likely remain unchanged for the time being.

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According to the applicant’s traffic impact analysis, at full build out, the subdivision would generate an additional 117 trips per day along Flood Road.

The 2014 Great Falls Area Long Range Transportation Plan indicates Flood Road has a capacity of 12,000 vehicles per day and the average annual daily traffic is 1,405 trips. County planners wrote in their staff report that based on those traffic estimates, Flood Road has adequate capacity to handle the traffic from the proposed subdivision.

The proposed subdivision will be served by the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office and Gore Hill Volunteer Fire Department. The developer will be required to install a fire suppression cistern with a capacity of 16,000 gallons, or 10,000 gallons minimum, plus an additional 500 gallons per residential lot, according to the staff report.

Two area residents, one of whom is also a local real estate agent, and a local contractor spoke in favor of the housing development.

The residential lots would range in size from 2 to 2.27 acres and Kirk Timmer, the local contractor, said they’ve been seeing increased demand for one to three acre properties.

Ashley Friesen is an adjoining land owner and a local real estate agent. She said there’s a high demand for those lot sizes since people are wanting to live outside the city with more space, but also have the “community feel” and paved streets.